Expert from Inspecta participated in the IAEA workshop for Pakistan Nuclear Authority

Dr. Andrey Shipsha, a consulting engineer at Inspecta, was invited by the IAEA as a technical expert to share his knowledge of fracture mechanics with Pakistan authority officials.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the global organization, under the United Nations, that is working for safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. One of the key activities conducted by the IAEA is coordination and management of different Technical Cooperation (TC) programs.

The Agency coordinates the TC project focused on improvement of regulatory performance for Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). A technical workshop was arranged for PRNA representatives this summer in Beijing, China. The workshop focused on verification and calculation of residual life of safety class components as a part of the long-term operation of Nuclear Power Plants, (NPPs) in Pakistan.

When setting up the team of experts for this workshop, the IAEA contacted Inspecta to find an expert in fracture mechanics.

Swedish, Chinese and Slovakian experts shared their knowledge

Dr. Andrey Shipsha, a consulting engineer at Inspecta, participated in the workshop in China. During a four days seminar, ten Pakistani officials met in China with Chinese, Slovakian and Swedish experts to enhance their knowledge of structural verification and calculation of the residual life of safety class components for Pakistan NPPs.

“The Pakistani officials needed to gain the up-to-date international knowledge and understanding of important damage mechanisms, in particular stress corrosion cracking and thermal fatigue, and modern approaches to structural verification of safety class components to ensure safe operation of their nuclear sites”, Andrey Shipsha says. “After my first session I was impressed that PNRA representatives already had a good technical competence in topics we discussed. They were eager to talk about and understand very specific, practical and detailed questions, “Andrey Shipsha continues: “It was very stimulating to share my knowledge with such an interested and motivated group”.

Dr. Bingbing Liang, from SNERDI in China and Dr. Martin Brezina, from VUJE, Slovakia were the other lecturers in the workshop. “We were all very dedicated to this conference and we had to adapt our lectures to meet the participants’ needs and expectations. I had no problems in filling my evenings. At the end of each day I sat in my hotel room modifying the next morning’s presentation and including more detailed and comprehensive information”, Andrey Shipsha says.

Swedish approach to fracture mechanics assessments

Andrey Shipsha focused on fracture mechanics in the workshop. “During the first session I presented a theoretical background to make sure the participants had a technical understanding about fracture mechanics and that they are familiar with the terminology and basic concepts.

Andrey Shipsha continued his contribution to the seminar by presenting the Swedish approach to performing fracture mechanics assessments. “Our approach is based on the R6-method, which after some modifications is now adopted and known as the ProSACC-procedure. I presented the procedure, which met with a great interest among the participants. I also emphasized the importance of major steps in performing a good assessment and achieving reliable results; in particular a review of possible active damage mechanisms, identification of governing loads and critical positions where cracks may be expected, and availability of reliable data for material properties and damage growth. And, of course, we discussed how the results of fracture mechanics assessments can be used for inspection planning or acceptance of the component for further operation, even beyond its’ design life.”

ProSACC is both the assessment procedure and a practical software tool that was developed by Inspecta and frequently used by engineers at Swedish NPPs. “The Pakistan authority was very interested to obtain further information and learn more about ProSACC”.

Andrey Shipsha made great use of the experience he and Inspecta gained from different projects with Swedish NPPs. “I was able to present and discuss a couple of customer cases where Inspecta helped Swedish nuclear plants in carrying out fracture mechanics assessments”. Discussions of these cases were very practical, focusing on a specific component, its relevant operating conditions and loads. Dr. Shipsha explains: “It was very appreciated by the workshop participants as they could follow step-by-step how the assessment was performed and realise both the complexity and advantages of such assessments”.

Positive feedback

“The participants were very satisfied with the workshop and I am happy that we could help both the IAEA and the Pakistan authority in their efforts in maintaining a high level of safety at Pakistan’s nuclear power plants. It was very motivating for me during the workshop to get positive feedback and to enhance the training continuously”.

IAEA has indicated their interest to involve Inspecta again in future missions. “Our expertise shows that we at Inspecta have world-leading knowledge and experience in fracture mechanics assessments”, Andrey Shipsha concludes.



Page created: 14 Sep 2011